Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Tracy's Tuesday Tech Tip: And the Winner Is...

In the recent 2014 Academy Awards this past weekend, Oscar-winning actress Lupita Nyong'o said in her acceptance speech, "For every little child, no matter where you are from, your dreams are valid."

I look around me in the walls of our school, in the community we are, and I see the ideals that Nyong'o shared, all around me. I feel privileged to be surrounded by genuine, caring people who are instilling this passion to students as kids that they matter...they make a difference in this world. Their dreams are just being brainstormed, their lasting attitudes and virtues beginning to take hold as we, their teachers, share the past, present, and potential for their future by exploring our craft and subject. It starts from early childhood and continues into adolescence and adulthood - what better profession and job could we have than to change the world one child at a time.

As I pondered what I wanted this week's tech tip to be, I thought about all of the accessibility our students have at their fingertips: personalized learning that is student-centered allowing for student-driven motivation; tools to explore anything with deeper inquiry and room for demonstrating understanding that we previously had; beyond that, student engagement to stay focused and interested in their learning to become digital citizens and scholars of the future. In all of this, I couldn't think of a better spotlight to focus on that ties into the Academy Awards than iMovie.

Highlighting our App SymbalooiMovie, an SDW Core App, allows for integrating picture, voice, movies as well as editing text and media to work with a project. With a voiceover feature, some catchy music to spice it up, and a variety of ways to put in titles and text, students can become their own filmmakers, producers and directors to demonstrate their learning!

App Appeals:
  • Easy-to-use interface that even early childhood learners can navigate
  • Awesome voice over feature for learners who are more apt to speak than write parts
  • Built in templates for trailers to give users an option for a "lite" version of a full movie

Project Ideas:
  • Demonstrate understanding of key vocabulary concepts with pictures/movies and words accompanying them
  • Integrate writing a fiction/non-fiction piece in writers workshop in any subject to further enhance cognition of the writing and editing process.
  • Create a trailer for just about anything: music unit, book, historical event and beyond!

Web 2.0 Tie In: When looking for pictures, it's important to stay true to various copyright policies. If you're looking for copyright free pics, start with either of the following websites that host copyright-free images:
Innovative Practices: When beginning to take on any type of media presentation - making an iMovie, creating a book in Book Creator (Upcoming Spotlight for Thoughtful Thursday), an important facet is digital citizenship. Using Google Research is an easy way to start, where resources are easily citable with a quick click and drag over to the doc or presentation. As much as we love the learning and excitement, teaching digital citizenship is another important part of our innovative practices not to be forgotten for the betterment of our students. By starting to get students into the habits of citing sources now, think how much easier and understandable the process becomes in high school and college! 

We have now become a society where our students and children now DREAM in bright colors of Dr. Seuss, intricate workings of the latest inventions, to be part of a working society with jobs not even imagined yet. How grounding to share the message of Nyong'o that dreams matter - with the millions of views of this one night - down to the one student who stays after class just to chat or share a story with us as their teachers. How amazing to share this mantra with our listening audience - that children, kids MATTER, they are our future. It is truly so moving for me to hear that shared, and carried as a banner for other people.

We are making Los SoƱadores of the world; We instill a passion to Imagine and Inspire the next generations to be Incredible; We hope and Believe for the future of all that we can Achieve. 

Together, We Can.

For the winners of yesterday, of today, and of tomorrow...our students of the next generation.

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